guide to eating in airports

Where to eat when you’re stuck at the airport

There are a plenty of things to do when you’re stuck at the airport: wait, walk, talk, shop, work, nap, get a flu shot, check out other people, see some art, drink and, of course, eat.

But how will you choose where to dine at the airport?

You can line up behind scores of other travelers at McDonald’s or some other chain outlet. But why do that when you can nibble on something truly tasty and local?

Here are a few resources – and resource people – who can help steer you in the right direction.

Over at, Joe Brancatelli has published his excellent, updated, two part guide offering tips on “Where to Eat Before You Fly.”

Part one lists his picks for places to eat in and near airports in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago/O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit/Metro, Houston/Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York/Kennedy, New York/LaGuardia, New York/Newark, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Part two focuses on dining options in and around smaller airports, including Austin, Boston, Chicago/Midway, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Honolulu, Memphis, Nashville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Portland, Maine, Portland, Oregon, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco Bay Area (3 airports), St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore (3 airports). See the full list here.

As someone who also spends a lot of time in these same airports and who researches the local options for the airport guides I put together for, I can tell you that Brancatelli has got the airport dining thing down.

Another resource:, a national restaurant and dining blog. Ron Holden, a Seattle-area food writer who blogs at, sent me a link to’s listing for where to eat at my hometown Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and I see that there are also listings for close to two dozen other airports.

And, for dessert, here’s a link to a Food & Wine article posted on’s Ovherhead Bin today describing America’s best new (and some not so new) airport restaurants.

And, if you don’t have time to sit down and enjoy a great airport meal, don’t forget you can always stop into one of the growing number of airport shops selling locally-made, snacks and gourmet treats to go.

Moon Pies at Nashville International Airport. Sold individually and by the box in many flavors.



Hungry yet? This should get you started.

Have your own tips on where to eat when you’re stuck at the airport? Please share them here.